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President of 'big four' Labour-affiliated trade union joins TUSC committee

Posted: 25 February 2021

Amy Murphy, the outgoing President of the fourth-biggest Labour Party-affiliated trade union, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), was today welcomed as a new member of the national steering committee of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Amy, who is retiring as union president in April and will sit on the TUSC committee in a personal capacity, said: "The government is continuing with its aggression towards trade unions while big businesses are reaping in the profits with one hand as they viciously attack terms and conditions and inflict pay cuts and freezes with the other. They are culling their workforces, firing and re-hiring whilst hiding behind the pandemic, and with no or very little opposition".

"So now, more than ever, there is a real need for change. We need an alternative that will politically and socially defend the working class. One which will give a voice to workers, engage with, support, and fight for them, and build on Jeremy Corbyn's socialist ideas. I believe TUSC is the way forward, a party for the working class".

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Could councils implement the green policy pledges in Labour's 2019 Manifesto?

Posted: 23 February 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition All-Britain steering committee recently published a briefing paper looking at how councils could use their existing powers to implement many of the policies promised in Labour's 2019 general election Manifesto, drafted under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. (See https://www.tusc.org.uk/17462/01-02-2021/new-tusc-report-could-councils-implement-labours-2019-pledges)

The following article examines this question in relation to the climate and environmental policy commitments in the Labour Manifesto 2019, which were presented under the heading, A Green Industrial Revolution.

It has been drafted by Chris Baugh, the former assistant general secretary of the PCS civil servants' union, who held responsibility for developing the union's policies for combating climate change. Chris was a founding member of the TUSC steering committee when our coalition was established in 2010.

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Over 500 at launch conference of TUSC's 2021 election campaign

Posted: 14 February 2021

Over 500 people zoomed in to the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 2021 local elections conference on Sunday 7th February.

The conference, convened under the heading, 'Fighting back against the Tories and Starmer's New Labour - including at the ballot box!', heard speakers from all the constituent components of the TUSC coalition. The opening platform speeches are now available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/71MV7OttXFg

The conference also discussed the draft TUSC core policy platform for the May 2021 local elections proposed by the TUSC steering committee, For a working class, socialist voice in the council chambers to resist Covid austerity, and the amendments that had been received (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/435.pdf).

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TUSC local elections conference agenda published

Posted: 2 February 2021

The agenda for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 2021 local elections conference on Sunday 7th February has now been published and is available as a PDF at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/435.pdf.

The conference has been convened under the heading, 'Fighting back against the Tories and Starmer's New Labour - including at the ballot box!', and starts at 11am.

The opening 45 minutes will see introductions from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee, explaining their position on the broad conference theme.

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TUSC Individual Members' representative elected to steering committee

Posted: 2 February 2021

The long-standing independent socialist Pete McLaren has been elected as the Individual Members' representative onto the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee for 2021.

TUSC is a coalition with an all-Britain steering committee comprised of representatives from its constituent organisations alongside leading trade unionists, sitting in a personal capacity. The current constituent organisations are the RMT transport workers' union, represented on the steering committee since 2012; the Socialist Party, a co-founder of TUSC in 2010; and the Resistance Movement, established in 2019 by, amongst others, the ex-Labour MP Chris Williamson.

Other individual members of TUSC who are not members of a constituent organisation also have a place on the committee selected, where there is a contest, by individual members at the TUSC conference.

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New TUSC report: could councils implement Labour's 2019 pledges?

Posted: 1 February 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain steering committee has launched a new report examining what policy pledges that were made in Labour's Manifesto for the 2019 general election could be implemented today by the 120 or so councils across Britain that are under Labour control.

The report, available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/434.pdf, goes through in detail what was pledged by Labour in 2019 and what councils have the legal powers to implement now - not after a general election, or after new legislation is passed, but immediately, today. If, that is, there were councillors in our town halls prepared to fight.

And that is certainly one thing the Covid crisis has revealed - how the vast wealth that's there in what is still the fifth or sixth richest economy in the world can be drawn upon to serve public needs when sufficient pressure is applied.

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Spelthorne councillors resign from Labour and join discussion on an alternative

Posted: 24 January 2021

Two Labour councillors on Spelthorne borough council, Veena Siva (representing Staines ward) and Jenny Vinson (Staines South), have announced their resignation from the Labour Party and opened discussions with TUSC.

They have been joined by the chair of Spelthorne Labour Party, Sue Bryer, who has also resigned from Keir Starmer's new New Labour party. In a press release the three explained their decision:

"After a great deal of agonising and soul-searching, we have been left with no option but to resign from the Labour Party".

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Pre-conference discussion: is TUSC ignoring pensioners' demands?

Posted: 24 January 2021

Following the publication at the end of last year of the TUSC draft core policy platform for the May 2021 local elections (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/17426/22-11-2020/tusc-sets-out-core-policies-for-may-2021-local-elections) a number of individuals and organisations have taken up the opportunity to comment.

One question that has come up can be summarised in the blunt heading the correspondent gave to her e-mail: "you have ignored pensioners in your draft council election policies".

Obviously that does not refer to the core policies that every TUSC candidate must commit to of opposing all cuts and closures to council services or their privatisation. But specifically measures to right the injustice suffered by women in particular from the raising of the state pension age by both New Labour and Tory governments.

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TUSC to hold local elections conference in February

Posted: 18 December 2020

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed the agenda and timetable for a local elections conference to be held on Zoom on Sunday February 7th.

The conference has been convened under the heading, 'Fighting back against Starmer's new New Labour - including at the ballot box!', starting at 11am to conclude by 1-30pm.

Platform speakers from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee, the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, the Resistance Movement and the Individual Members' representatives, will introduce the single plenary session.

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TUSC sets out core policies for May 2021 local elections

Posted: 22 November 2020

As the Tories discuss their public spending cuts plans to make working class people pay for the Covid crisis the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has set out the core policies TUSC candidates will be committed to fight for in next May's local council elections.

TUSC is an electoral coalition, offering the opportunity to trade unionists, community campaigners, socialists and others to stand candidates under a common anti-austerity banner distinct from the mainstream, establishment politicians.

The core policies are the minimum basis on which someone can stand as a TUSC candidate rather than 'Independent' - the only legal alternative if you are not endorsed by a registered political party - which doesn't say whether a candidate supports austerity and cuts or not.

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Corbyn suspension: TUSC fights 'resurgent Blairism' as second ex-MP joins coalition

Posted: 11 November 2020

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee today condemned the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party, and pledged to fight Keir Starmer's 'resurgent Blairism' - including at the ballot box next May.

At the same time it welcomed new members to the coalition steering committee from the national executives of five different trade unions - and the former Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was himself suspended in 2019, and prevented from defending his Derby North seat as a Labour candidate in last year's general election.

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, also a former parliamentary colleague of Jeremy Corbyn when he was an MP from 1983-1992, said:

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Scotland 2021 - Build a socialist and trade union election challenge

Posted: 16 October 2020

The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) steering committee has organised a conference on November 7 to prepare a socialist challenge for the Scottish parliament election in May 2021.

We are inviting trade unionists and trade union organisations, socialists and socialist organisations who are interested in helping to build that election challenge to take part.

If you would like to participate and/or your organisation would, please let us know.

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An appeal to TUSC supporters - get organised now for May's elections

Organising locally. Photo Bob Severn

Organising locally. Photo Bob Severn

Posted: 11 October 2020

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, meeting on October 7th, has issued an appeal to those considering standing under the TUSC banner in next May's elections to start organising locally now as best they can within the Covid restrictions.

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Transport for London funding crunch: 'It's time to stand up to the Tories'

Posted: 7 October 2020

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee today called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to stand up to the Tory government and refuse to carry out any more cuts as a new funding crisis faces the city's Transport for London (TfL) authority.

TUSC, co-founded in 2010 by the general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union the late Bob Crow, has consistently argued that local authorities have the potential power to compel the Westminster government to provide the necessary funding for decent public services. And sitting at the centre of the city's arteries there is no more powerful local authority than TfL led by the London Mayor - if only there was the political will to fight.

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992 and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:

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Back at work! TUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

Posted: 4 September 2020

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, meeting on September 2nd, has agreed to resume standing candidates in elections, starting in the contests scheduled for next May.

TUSC was established in 2010 to enable trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists from different parties and none, to stand against pro-austerity establishment politicians under a common banner and an agreed platform of core policies. Within that framework hundreds of TUSC-authorised candidates had stood in elections, polling over 375,000 votes between them - until 2018.

TUSC had already re-calibrated its electoral activity after the unexpected but warmly welcomed victory of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in 2015.

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TUSC suspends electoral activity: National Steering Committee statement

Posted: 8 November 2018

The November 2018 meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition national steering committee has agreed to suspend all TUSC electoral activity until further notice.

The TUSC name and logos can still be used in campaigning activity by local TUSC groups and the coalition's component organisations, but from now on the legally required certificates of authorisation needed for the TUSC name and emblem to appear on election ballot papers will no longer be issued by the TUSC national election agent.

This decision follows a period of discussion within TUSC around proposals submitted over the summer by the Socialist Party, one of the founding organisations of the coalition, to re-set the role of TUSC three years after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/425.pdf).

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TUSC annual report on Labour councils - 'How Much Reserves Have They Got?'

Fighting council cuts

Fighting council cuts

Posted: 31 October 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has published its third annual report on the level of reserves held by Labour-led councils across Britain. This is a series started following the September 2015 election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader on an anti-austerity platform.

Presenting a statistical profile of all the 125 Labour-led councils in England, Scotland and Wales, the report reveals "the substantial resources of the local state under the control of the Labour Party" - which, the introduction argues, would make them "a potential counter-power to the Tory government" if councillors were prepared to fight.

The TUSC report, entitled How much reserves have they got?, is available as a downloadable PDF by clicking http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/427.pdf

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TUSC directory of future elections

Posted: 29 October 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) directory of the elections taking place in May 2019 has now been published.

This directory, an annual production of TUSC which has previously been referenced by the House of Commons Library, provides a breakdown of the councils with statutory elections scheduled for the year ahead, the number of councillors up for election, and the current political control in each council listed.

It also includes a list of Labour councillors who signed the Open Letter in support of Owen Smith's leadership coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn in 2016 who are councillors in local authorities with elections next May.

The directory is available as a PDF, by clicking http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/426.pdf


Legal Costs Fund Appeal launched for former Derby TUSC election agent

Posted: 30 August 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has launched an appeal to help meet the legal costs of Chris Fernandez, the local election agent for eight TUSC candidates at the 2016 council elections in Derby, who earlier this year was imprisoned for 'electoral fraud'.

A full account of the case is available at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/413.pdf but in essence Chris was judged guilty of misleading members of the public on the electoral register into signing TUSC candidates' nomination papers in the 2016 local elections. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) argued and won on 12 out of 14 counts that people believed they were signing a petition against the closure of Derby's Moorways swimming pool and not a local election nomination form.

Chris categorically denied setting out to mislead anyone but, before the trial, was put under enormous pressure to admit to something he hadn't done and not contest the case. And now, scandalously, after having serving four months in prison, he has been hit with a bill for £8,847 for exercising his right to protest his innocence. Chris had applied for legal aid but, because he lost the case, he now has to pay a contribution to the costs.

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After three years of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership, what role should TUSC play now?

Posted: 23 July 2018

This autumn marks the third anniversary of Jeremy Corbyn's stunning victory in the Labour leadership contest that rocked the capitalist establishment.

In the aftermath of the 2015 result the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) recalibrated its activity and has debated continually since then how best to push forward the new possibilities opened for socialist and trade union politics.

This July the Socialist Party, one of the founding organisations of TUSC, submitted a discussion paper to the TUSC national steering committee outlining a number of new proposals it felt were necessary to re-set the role of TUSC for the period ahead. This is now being published in a TUSC Discussion Bulletin by the steering committee for comment and consideration by all TUSC supporters and interested friends. The Discussion Bulletin is available at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/425.pdf

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